Paulina Olowska

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Within Paulina Olowska’s practice, industry, leisure, and socialist symbolism occupy the same visual and cultural space.

Within Paulina Olowska’s practice, industry, leisure, and socialist symbolism occupy the same visual and cultural space. Her realist paintings, drawings, and collages borrow imagery from Eastern European and American popular culture creating a cross cultural reference that is evident throughout her practice, whilst engaging with the concepts of consumerism, feminism, and design. The outward appearance of Olowska’s female subjects is equally as important as the historical memories interwoven seamlessly throughout her collages and paintings. Olowska’s treatment of her subject’s materialization acts as a direct display of the spirit of the individual, which is likely to be contrasted against a uniformed surrounding reminiscent of life experienced behind the iron curtain.

As a multidisciplinary artist, Paulina’s affinity with performance-based art has been receiving continuous institutional appreciation. Most notably is Alphabet (2005), her adaptation of Czech designer Karel Teige's typographic book ABECEDA. Presented at MoMA in 2012, performers mould their bodies to affix the letters of the alphabet, forgetting conventional forms to construct a new system of meaning. Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Art Institute of Chicago are amongst the most recent hosts of her vibrantly layered performances. At the heart of Olowska’s artistic practice is her collaborative work, lending a platform to her contemporaries who are underrepresented. Demonstrating the disjunction of time and cultural impermeability of Eastern Europe, Olowska’s multi-faceted oeuvre establishes a dialogue with the past; she calls upon forms recognizable from multiple collective histories of modernism to adhere with an invented contemporary environment.

Selected Works
Installation Views

The Woman Eye, an actor and puppet étude, 2019

Zacheta

Warsaw, Poland

Exhibitions
Exhibition Walkthrough
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Exhibition Walkthrough

Garth Weiser

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Paulina Olowska, Natalia Sielewicz and Elisabeth Lebovici in conversation with Clément Dirié

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Paulina Olowska performance: Abeceda (after Milca Mayerova)

Paulina Olowska’s performance is inspired by the book entitled ABECEDA by Karel Teige - a key figure of the Czech avant-garde who created the experimental “moving alphabet” in 1926 in cooperation with Milca Mayerova.

 

Presented by Mimosa House in dialogue with Tomaso Binga's alphabet works. Supported by Arts Council England

Receive information on available works by Paulina Olowska